Madeira's emblematic flowers

Madeira, with its subtropical climate, is a real life-size treasure for botanical enthusiasts. A magnificent setting with 1000 colours all year round. Here are some of the most common species, but also emblematic of the island. Of course, I am only presenting a selection of the most common flowers here: Madeira is a living garden and there are hundreds of different flowers all over the island.

The Strelitzia: bird of paradise

Recognizable among 1000 with its bird-shaped flower, the Strelitzia is one of Madeira's emblematic flowers. Strelitzia are plants that grow in a tropical climate, and are particularly happy in Madeira. There are of course several varieties.

fleur oiseau du paradis : la Strelitzia - Madère
« Surnommée oiseau du paradis : la Strelitzia, fleur emblématique de Madère - © tomfellmann »

Madeira Agapanthus

This is the most common flower on the island. It can be found in the public gardens of Funchal, but also in private properties or along the levadas.

Quinta Magnólia, Agapanthus groveAgapanthus flower - Madeira
« Fleurs d'Agapanthe, dans les jardins de Funchal ou en pleine nature - © zamito44 »

Aloe and its red flowers

Known for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties, Aloe Vera grows naturally in Madeira thanks to the island's climatic conditions. It can be found in the mountains and on the cliffs. It is also cultivated for its gel. Its correct name is Tree Aloe.

red flowers aloes Vera Madeira, on the heights
« Les fleurs rouges d'Aloes arborescent - © Madeira Walking »


We know them very well in France. Who has never offered an orchid? The orchid flower is one of the most beautiful there is. Several species can be found in Madeira, especially in gardens.

Fleur d'orchidée mouillée à MadèreFleur d'orchidée, jardin à Madère
« Fleurs d'orchidées, dans les jardins de Funchal - ©Pet_r »


These are quite strange flowers and can be found in many places, roadsides, gardens etc. There are several types.

Fleur proteas - Madère
« Les fleurs Protéas - © Thomas Jundt + CV »


In the same way that we know orchids well, we can also easily recognize anthuriums.

fleur rouge anthurium
« L'emblématique anthurium - © Tomas Sobek »

The Madeira viperine

Also known as Echium, there are several varieties of Viperines that grow naturally on the island, including the "Madeira Viperine". One of Madeira's emblematic flowers.

Viperine Madere
« La Vipérine de Madère »

The yellow flowers of the mountains

I couldn't finish this article without talking about mountain flowers, they are numerous and yellow in colour. But my botanical knowledge is quite weak and there are several different species: the houseleek, the hairy orpins, the ranunculus, or the Madeira marigolds: calendula maderensis.

yellow flowers from the Madeira mountains
« Fleurs jaunes des montagnes de Madère - © melancholija »

The Atlantic garden

This article has no limits, there are really hundreds of different flowers in Madeira, a real palette of colours: red, purple, blue, white, yellow, orange, pink... a real life-size canvas. It's hard to forget the poppies, lilies, geraniums, nasturtiums or bougainvilleas, imposing flowers that can be found on the walls of properties. Madeira is above all a pleasure for the eyes, all year round, but also for the smells and perfumes that awaken our senses. Even if botany lovers will prefer spring, which is the main flowering period, flowers can be found all year round in Madeira.



Teresa Jardim , le 12-05-2024

Dear Sirs,

Your website showcases exotic flowers like Strelitzias as the emblematic flowers of Madeira, mixed with genuine local flowers like Pride of Madeira (Echium candicans). Indeed, on the list shown here, this is the only species that is truly ours.
On Madeira Island, although Strelitzia has been printed on stamps and often features on travel advertising, it was never officially given a symbolic status, as it is not part of our rich and unique local flora.
If you care to check, you will see that the logo of Madeira Botanical Garden bears our Musschia aurea as its symbol. Musschia aurea is, indeed, unique to our island and cannot be found in the wild anywhere else in the world. Like Musschia aurea, there are numerous wonderful wild local plants whose beauty surpasses birds of paradise and all the other flowers that feature in this article. Unfortunately, foreigners and locals alike erroneously believe that Strelitzia, Agapanthus, and all the others are part of our flora. They are not. They are just grown in gardens as ornamentals flowers. Although some of these species have been here for more than a century, they have not been, cannot and will never be elevated to symbols of our island. While you celebrate these alien species as ours, the wonderful flowers that are truly part of our rich flora are forgotten or even largely unknown. To top it all, you have included two invasive alien species - Agapanthus and Cystus (last photo) - which are on the national and regional list of species that must be eradicated, as they they threaten our unique biodiversity. Articles like yours help to perpetuate these misconceptions. I suggest looking up our flora on Flora-on Madeira and iNaturalist websites.
Best regards, Teresa Jardim

Dear Teresa. Thanks for your comment. I remember talking to you last year. I had a lot of work to do and didn't publish update. That's why I thank you for your comment, its very important. I promise, I update my article next months.
Loïc from Madere Le Guide.

Teresa Jardim , le 03-04-2023

Of the plants listed in your article, only the Echium candicans belongs to the flora of Madeira. All the other plants mentioned are exotic plants from other parts of the world, namely South Africa and Australia. Some of them, like the Agapanthus, are classified as invasive plants. To find out about the precious, rare endemic plants of Madeira Archipelago, please check the website Flora-on Madeira.

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